Appearing with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki earlier this week, President Bush vowed to provide more equipment to Iraq's security forces. There are no specifics yet, but defense analysts say the forces are woefully under-equipped. Aside from concerns that the United States could be equipping a civil war, the cost is substantial.
Retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey says the Iraqis need about 2,000 armored Humvees, 2,000 M-113 armored vehicles, 120 Blackhawk transport vehicles, and 24 C-130 transport planes. McCaffrey says the cost — an estimated $5 billion — has both Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the Office of Management and Budget concerned.